The End-of-the-Semester Push

As I’m nearly done with the humanities term paper (5 pages; 20 percent of my grade) I hope to finish up today, it looks like the end-of-the-semester crunch (a period of about a month when the load of tests and papers seems to snowball and is all but overwhelming) is almost over. WHEW.

About two weeks ago my humanities professor asked us if we had yet seen someone wig out completely. A few had. One young man admitted that he himself had wigged out.

Now begins the end-of-the-semester PUSH, as we students rush to ready for final exams and turn in the final projects that will decide big chunks of our grades.

Regular classes at UNCA end next week. Then we get a reading week in which to study for finals (and recover from the crunch). Then the week of finals themselves, in early December…

The last day of class is December 11. The end of the semester is in sight!

What I’m working on:

* My last Blue Banner article of the semester, a two-page profile of a humanities instructor who ended up being a very cool and polite person. It turned out well. Hope the pic is a good one.

The professor I interviewed is losing his eyesight to a degenerative condition of the retina, and it occurred to me that I am the one who, through the instrument of a newspaper, will officially describe to the university community his situation and his plans to deal with it (as well as the fact that he used to be in a punk band and got kicked out of college once).

Wish I had room to mention he’s named after a late-60s rock DJ from Boston.

I’ve decided that I like writing about people after all. It’s shy-making and challenging, but when it goes well, it’s fun and rewarding work.

* A 10-page (double-spaced) humanities research paper, 20% of my final grade, on the 19th-century Chinese official Lin Zexu, upon whose books my cat Cleo barfed (note to Don: this was a first)

* My newswriting final project, an 800-1000 word news article on communal housing. This is a big project, but about a hand-picked subject I like, and I have already lined up an interview with Greensboro anarcho-commune resident Liz Seymour, who is fast becoming one of my heroes.

* My next Humanities 324 exam is next week.

* My Humanities 324 final is the week after that.

* My political science final (blessedly not comprehensive; it covers only a few weeks of work and not the whole semester’s learning) on Marxism and global capitalism is the first week of December.

And then I’m done for 2007!

I get a month off from school for the holidays, and I plan to spend it knitting, eating, reading, staying warm, petting cats and maybe shaping up the house a bit, room by room. Also maybe trying to find a documentary screenwriter to email with.

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